Corporate hospitals use English to hoodwink patients
Is English language ruling the roost making tens and thousands of patients taking emergency admissions in various corporate hospitals in twin cities and ending up as lab rats for Investigator-Initiated Studies (ISS) or Regulatory or Clinical Trails?
Hyderabad: Is English language ruling the roost making tens and thousands of patients taking emergency admissions in various corporate hospitals in twin cities and ending up as lab rats for Investigator-Initiated Studies (ISS) or Regulatory or Clinical Trails?
According to sources patients rushed to various corporate hospitals in emergency situations for admissions are being asked to sign undertakings giving their consent for the treatments. However, in several cases, the consent forms which are in English language have a clause in small print.
The clause makes the family member or relatives accompanying the patients give uninformed consent to the corporate hospitals. In turn, this is lading to extract consents from the people who are in distress and do not know or understand English language.
The consent allows the hospitals, its doctors, any of its associate research institutions, medical institutions, colleges, foundations, laboratories and even the collaborative entities from abroad to conduct studies on any of the problems, issues cropped up during the treatment of patients to conduct studies and research.
For example, Varun (name changed), a software engineer was rushed by 108 ambulances to a prominent corporate hospital in Hyderabad following a car accident.
The night duty doctors informed his father that the case is a serious one and inpatient admission is required, "I had to sign the consent form without bothering about anything else," said Naveen Rao, father of the patient.
The consent form for treatment had a clause which clearly mentions that the hospital is allowed to collect samples, share the data that they come extrapolated while giving treatment to share for studies.
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior doctor from Osmania Medical College said, the existing rules on ISS or RCT do not allow extracting such blanket consents.
Further, taking such consents from the persons who are coming to hospitals in distress situation cannot be called informed consent. Taking such consents is a gross violation, he added.
Clarifying on these, sources in the Commissioner of Medical and Health said, "Hospitals are using various forms, for patients admitted under Arogyasri are given forms in Telugu language.
The rules are clear that taking informed consent makes it mandatory on the part of the hospitals to explain to the patients or their kin what kind of studies will be conducted and how the data or samples collected during treatment are going to be used."
However, there is no general regulation regarding language in which the forms to be printed by the hospitals.
This is making the corporate hospitals continue to print the undertakings and consent forms in English and getting automatic consents on the admission of patients, the sources said.